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Name: People v. Aguilar-Jimenez (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 561
Case #: H050153
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/15/2023

A magistrate’s Penal Code section 871 dismissal of murder charges based on a legal conclusion did not divest the district attorney of the discretion to recharge them in the information under section 739. In December 2019, defendant was charged with two counts of murder and driving under the influence. The magistrate declined to hold him on the two murder counts due to a lack of probable cause under section 871. Two weeks later, under section 739, the district attorney filed an information recharging the same two murder counts. The court granted defendant’s 995 motion to dismiss the murder counts. The…

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Name: Rodas-Gramajo v. Superior Court (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 656
Case #: A166375
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/15/2023

A motion to set aside the information (Pen. Code, § 995) was the appropriate vehicle to challenge a gang enhancement allegation where the statute was amended by Assembly Bill No. 333 after the preliminary hearing. Petitioner was charged with various crimes and a gang enhancement triggering increased punishment (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(1)). While he awaited trial, AB 333 altered the requirements for imposing the gang enhancement. Petitioner filed a section 995 motion to dismiss the gang allegation, arguing the People failed to present sufficient evidence of the existence of a criminal street gang under amended section 186.22. The…

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Name: Mendoza v. Superior Court (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 42
Case #: F084354
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/03/2023

Assembly Bill No. 333’s changes to the elements of gang-related charges apply retroactively to preliminary hearing proceedings. Mendoza sought a writ of mandamus after the superior court denied his Penal Code section 995 motion to dismiss a charge for active participation in a criminal street gang and the gang enhancements attached to multiple counts. He asserted that the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, while sufficient at the time of the hearing, was now insufficient in light of the changes to Penal Code section 186.22 by AB 333. The Court of Appeal ultimately issued an order directing the respondent to…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Fernandez)
Case #: E078405
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/01/2023

Magistrate erred in dismissing torture-murder special circumstance where evidence showed a rational ground for concluding defendant had the intent to kill. Defendant was charged with the premeditated murder of his 13-week-old son (Pen. Code, § 187, subd. (a)), and with the special circumstance that the murder was intentional and involved infliction of torture (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(18))). The magistrate found sufficient evidence to hold defendant as to the murder charge but not as to the special circumstance, reasoning that the evidence did not establish how the victim died or whether defendant had the intent to kill at that point. The…

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Name: Del Castillo v. Superior Court (People)
Case #: A157306
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/21/2019

Because defendant's Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150 hold did not automatically toll the 60-day time period for his preliminary hearing, the information in his case must be set aside. Defendant was charged with a felony in a complaint and was arraigned. He did not waive his right to have the preliminary hearing commence within 60 days. However, he did not appear on the date set for the hearing because he was in custody at a hospital for a mental health evaluation pursuant to section 5150. The preliminary hearing was ultimately held more than 60 days after…

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Name: People v. Black
Case #: H043360
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/16/2017

Dismissal of securities violation counts (Corp. Code, §§ 25401, 25540, subd. (b)) proper because promissory note did not qualify as a "security" under the Howey test. Black approached Knarr with a real estate investment opportunity in Idaho. In a promissory note, Knarr agreed to pay Black $124,456 and Black promised a percentage of the profits or a portion of the property and guaranteed Knarr that he could get his money back plus 10% interest at any time. The promissory note was revised a number of times. Black was never able to make the real estate deal happen and he failed…

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Name: People v. Smith
Case #: A141407
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/17/2016

Trial court erred by dismissing a complaint where prosecutor, without giving notice, requested a continuance of the preliminary hearing to a date within 10 court days of the defendant's plea. Smith with charged with possessing heroin. He invoked his right to a preliminary hearing within 10 court days of his not guilty plea pursuant to Penal Code section 859b. The hearing was set for March 6, 2014 and the parties and court agreed that March 10, 2014 was the tenth day. On March 6, the prosecutor made an oral request for a continuance to March 10 under Penal Code section…

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Name: People v. Arroyo
Case #: S219178
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/14/2016

Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (d) allows certain juveniles accused of specified offenses to be charged directly in criminal court by grand jury indictment. A grand jury indicted Arroyo, a juvenile, and six codefendants for various gang-related offenses. The grand jury also found reasonable cause to believe that Arroyo came within the provisions of section 707(d)(4), which permits charges against a juvenile to be filed directly in criminal court if certain criteria are met. Arroyo demurred to the indictment on the ground that section 707(d)(4) requires the prosecution to proceed by way of preliminary hearing and information when…

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Name: Mason v. Superior Court
Case #: C075149
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/30/2015

Prosecution may obtain an indictment charging defendant with arson (Pen. Code, § 451) despite the fact he was already held to answer for illegal burning (Pen. Code, § 452). In July 2012, Mason threw an illegal firework into a swimming hole. It floated on the surface of the water, then exploded, shooting sparks into the air. Some of the sparks landed on dry brush and ignited a forest fire that burned 2,650 acres. He was initially charged by complaint with arson with enhanced penalties and the lesser offense of unlawful burning. At the preliminary hearing the arson charges were dismissed…

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Name: People v. Lind et al.
Case #: B250350
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/15/2014

A defendant's motion to disqualify the magistrate for cause tolls the time limit for a preliminary hearing. Lind and Murphy were charged with conspiracy to commit perjury and perjury. They pled not guilty. Because they did not waive their right to a speedy trial, they were entitled to a preliminary hearing within 60 days. (Pen. Code, § 859b.) Before the preliminary hearing, Murphy filed a request to disqualify the judge (Code Civ. Proc., § 170.1, subd. (a)(6)(iii)), which was granted. The preliminary hearing was eventually held, but not within the 60-day time limit. The trial court…

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